Sunderlal Bahuguna Great Indian Environmentalist Dies Of Covid-19.
Sunderlal Bahuguna was the leader of the Chipko Movement. His movement reflected a milestone in Indian environmentalism. He is an inspiration for many generations. Sunderlalji was a firm believer in Gandhi’s ideologies. He was born on 9th January 1927 in Uttarakhand. Sunderlal married Vimla Bahuguna, who played an important role in many of his movements. He dedicated most of his life to activism, social cause, environmentalism, and writing.
The sad demise of Sunderlal Bahuguna
He admitted to AIIMS Hospital because of covid-19. On Thursday, his condition was critical and his oxygen level dropped drastically. On May 21st, 2021, he took the last breath. The doctors of AIIMS Rishikesh declared him no more at 12:05 p.m.
He was a great leader and a Gandhian. He believes in Gandhian methods of protest, hunger strikes, and peace.
One of his movements that everyone knows is the Chipko Movement. We all have read in class 8th and 9th about the Chipko Movement in 1973, and how women saved the forest by hugging the tree. The Chipko movement signifies the importance of trees falling and embracing the forest. Sunderlal Bahuguna led the Chipko movement; he gave the message all over the world that ecosystem and Ecology are more important. Consequently, we also knew him as the God of the ecology of the Himalayas, and the Father of the Chipko Movement. Even because of the emergency the Chipko movement came to halt he resurfaced it in 1977.
Anti-Tehri Dam Protest:– This movement started with a hunger strike and Satyagraha. Village people don’t want a dam. This movement lasted for over two decades. For 45 days he didn’t eat anything. He strikes against the Tehri Dam project. During the protest, he navigated message, बांध नहीं चाहिए, बांध पाहड़ का विनाश है।
He started the movement against alcoholism with the support of women. He started the anti-liquor campaign from 1965 to 1970.
Sunderlal Bahuguna submitted a report to the United Nation. He wandered the Himalayas, around 5000 km, where he found forest deforestation and devastation because of some developmental projects.
As per Sunderlal Ji, the economy and ecology should go together, for the same reason, he celebrated both, August 15 and January 26 as festivals.
Awards and Messages of Sunderlal Bahuguna
In 1981, he was honored by Padma Shri but he refused it because he was protesting against the government’s Himalayan policy and Tehri project.
He received the right livelihood award for the Chipko movement and gladly accepted it in 1987. Mr. Bahuguna accepted that in hope that this will put some weightage on his proposal for Himalayan policy, and in 1986 he received the Jamnalal Bajaj Award for constructive work.
Sunderlal Bahuguna got the Padma Vibhushan award for environmental conservation by the government of India in 2009.
He accepted the Padma Vibhushan award. During the acceptance, he told the press that if the government does not apply his Himalayan Policy, Himalayas will vanish in no time. Especially when climate change and global warming are increasingly becoming a reason to worry.
He had a belief that nature and women share a connection and that they can lead towards change. Mr. Bahuguna was also a part of movements like anti-liquor and against untouchability for women.
Quoting Sunderlal Bahuguna
The solution of present-day problems lies in the re-establishment of a harmonious relationship between Man and Nature. To keep this relationship permanent we will have to digest the definition of real development: development is synonymous with culture. When we sublimate nature in a way that we achieve peace, happiness, prosperity, and, ultimately, fulfillment along with satisfying our basic needs, we march towards culture.
Other Environmental Activist
Gaura Devi:- She was an activist of the Himalayas. The world knows her for her contribution to the Chipko movement. She planted and protected a lot of trees in Uttarakhand. Gaura Devi was a leader of Mahila Mangal Dal (Women’s welfare association). During Chipko Movement, she was guarding the trees for 3-4 days, as a result, the loggers were unable to cut them.
Medha Pathak:- She was born on 1st September 1954 and was a leader for Narmada Bachao and plan. She is the founder of the National Alliance of people’s movement. She had to struggle for justice for the people who were under the ill-effects of the dam projects like the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Medha Pathak got the Mother Teresa award for social justice.
Jadav Payeng:- He is an environmental activist. And over several decades he planted trees on sandbars near the Brahmaputra river. Mr. Jadav is also known as Molai, and hence, the Molai forest has got its name from him because he planted trees and made that barren 1368 acres of land into a forest. He was honored with Padma Shri. Furthermore, a documentary has been made about him. The Molai forest is directed by Aarti Shrivastava, in addition to that, a children’s book is also written for his work called Tree place.
In an interview with TOI, he said that ‘The Mighty Himalayas and the Ganga river, our eternal symbol of sacredness and their natural and pure existence is integral to the development of the nation’.
If you want to go through Sunderlal Bahuguna’s work, there are some books that he has written, Bhu Prayog Men Buniyadi Parivartan Ki and, Dharti ki Pukar. You can check out these books by Sunderlal Bahuguna.
He will always be remembered for his work and will always be an inspiration for generations. He was a great activist and I believe that more young people will come forward to save and protect our environment by getting inspired by Sunderlal Ji. If you remember any of his work that everyone should know, comment down.